Meet Zoe Pannenborg, JOA's Programme Associate

12 October 2022
Zoe Pannenborg joined JOA as Programme Associate in October 2022 - Zoe will be in the JOA office for six months before heading off to partner, Street Child for the remainder of her 18 month-internship.

Why did you apply for the JOA Programme Associate role?

If you have ever tried to begin a career in International Development, you will know that it is a notoriously competitive sector to work in.  You often hear that you will need ‘experience to get experience’. When an opportunity to work with Jersey Overseas Aid presents itself you jump at it. I have been following previous interns’ journey with JOA since I was in sixth form eager to apply for the position. Following the completion of my degree in International Development at the University of Sussex this summer, i needed to gain some hands-on experience. The JOA programme Associate position offers the most incredible opportunity to development my skills and pursue a future in the development and humanitarian sector. I am extremely excited and grateful to be a part of the JOA team for the next 6 months working alongside an incredible team which I will learn so much from.

Where has your interest in the international development / humanitarian sectors come from?

My passion for following a career path in international development arose from my interaction with the local community in Burkina Faso during voluntary trips in 2017 and 2018. Whilst in Burkina Faso I became fully involved with the building of a Nursery and pregnancy care unit. Although seeing the building progress was a great sense of achievement, I found that the most fulfilling part of the trip was engaging with the community and building relationships with the children and families.

Tell us a bit about the role you’re embarking on?

I feel incredibly fortunate to be chosen as the next programme associate as this year the programme is different to previous years. Over the course of 18 months, I will be equipped with the skills and experience necessary for a career in international relief and development. For the first 6 months I will be interning at JOA getting to grips with their donor programme and the emergency projects supported. Following my time in Jersey I will move to London to work at Street Child’s head office in London. This is an amazing opportunity as I will have the opportunity to work in several departments whilst preparing for my time abroad. After appropriate training I will be off to work in one of Street Child’s project countries for 6 months gaining hands on experience in the field. The structure of this placement gives a breadth of different experiences with each section bringing different experiences, opportunities and learnings that offer fundamentally strong foundations to a career in this field.

What are you most looking forward to?

I am particularly excited for my 6-month placement abroad with Street Child gathering invaluable experience in the field. Working in one of the project countries for 6 months will enable me to get to know the local community and culture which is something you do not get on a 2-week trip. Another huge aspect of this programme that excites me is that I will be surrounded by like-minded individuals who are working together to make a positive impact.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I was born in Jersey and went to Les Quennevais School and then on to Hautlieu to complete my A-Levels. After a year saving, I moved to Brighton to begin my degree in International Development at Sussex University. During my third year at uni I joined the Sussex Pole Society and have continued taking weekly classes now I am back in Jersey for winter. Don’t be fooled I am not a talented pole dancer yet, it is a lot of bruises, sore muscles and falls to the floor.